Judith Owen featuring the legendary Leland Sklar
Friday, Mar 31, 2017 8:30 PM EDT
(7:30 PM Doors)
Iridium, New York, NY
Pianist-singer-songwriter Judith Owen is known for her love of musical variety and melding it into a great stylistic gumbo all her own. ‘Somebody’s Child’ is the culmination of this mix: voice and piano front and centre, songs that are vignettes of life crafted from the perspective that we ARE all “somebody’s child” – parental as well as planetary. An album about us.
“By nature, I am a diverse musician. It’s who I am because of all the music I grew up being exposed to, from opera to Sinatra, Joni to Stevie Wonder, and everything in between,” says Judith.
Whereas 2014’s critically-acclaimed ‘Ebb & Flow’ was personal and very much a love letter to Laurel Canyon, ‘Somebody’s Child’ takes a leap from the confessional to the observational, whilst recruiting the same crème de la crème of Los Angeles session musicians – bassist Leland Sklar, guitarist Waddy Wachtel and drummer Russell Kunkel – and incorporating them with her British-based musicians – master percussionist Pedro Segundo and sublime cellist Gabriella Swallow – to create a fresh new dynamic.
“It’s a very British thing where you love mixing all those styles. It’s classical. It’s pop. There’s jazz. There’s rhythm and blues. Then there’s rock thrown in there too,” Judith emphasizes, as evident in the jewel-like, pastoral and melancholic ‘No More Goodbyes’ and the staccato, jazzy rocker ‘We Give In’.
A Judith signature is also to turn the most unlikely song inside out. She’s done it before with her tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the Deep Purple rock anthem ‘Smoke On The Water’ and Mungo Jerry’s irresistible, irresponsible and politically incorrect ‘In The Summertime’. This time, it’s her languid interpretation of Roxy Music’s ‘More Than This’, endorsed by none other than its creator Bryan Ferry whom she opened for last year, that lingers long in the memory. In fact it was recorded at Bryan’s London studio on his piano. Not to mention her playful adaptation of ‘Aquarius’ from the rock musical ‘Hair’. “I love playing with overtly earnest lyrics like these, and putting them in a totally different musical context. I’m a serious person who likes to laugh a lot. I need to.”